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‘Homecoming’ good to Warriors

MERRY HILL – There weren’t any flowers or stylish dresses, but Tuesday night was a Homecoming of sorts for Lawrence Academy Varsity Boys Basketball Coach Jon Powell.

The Lawrence Academy graduate is in his first season back at the school, but Tuesday night was special as retired Warriors’ Headmaster Thomas Gregory was in the stands for the game and Powell was opposed by Roger Klaussen and Ken Leys, veteran coaches whom he knew from his previous stint at Lawrence.

“It was nice to have the opportunity to talk to Tom and it was also good to see Ken and Roger,” Powell said. “They’re people I haven’t had an opportunity to talk with in a long time.”

Powell’s team made the most of the contest against Terra Ceia Christian School as they stormed to an early 23-4 lead and went on to a 50-33 victory.

“I thought we did okay in the first quarter,” Powell said. “We came out and executed well and made some shots that gave us a little bit of separation. That carried over the rest of the game.”

Shane Stevens, who led all scorers with 17 points, got out of the gate quickly, scoring four of those points in the opening two and a half minutes of the game. Holden Ratzlaff added another bucket as the Warriors led 6-0 early.

Blake Archer finally got the visiting Knights on the board with a pair of free throws at the 5:05 mark of the first quarter. Hunter Davenport added two more points from the charity stripe to close the gap to 6-4.

Lawrence, however, didn’t allow another point in the first quarter while rolling off 17 unanswered points themselves. Among the highlights of the run were three triples off the hands of freshman Chase Stevens and a bucket each by Daniel Oliver and Chad Whitehead.

Terra Ceia began to rally in the second quarter when Jacob Latham hit a hoop and a three-pointer back-to-back. The Knights then got a bucket from Archer and two free throws from Davenport to close within 23-13.

Lawrence got a hoop from Ratzlaff to make it 25-13, but TCCS scored the next two buckets to close the gap to eight (25-17).

From there, the Warriors got a three-point play each from Ratzlaff and S. Stevens as part of a 7-0 run. Dylan Ralph’s score as time expired in the first half gave Lawrence a 34-19 lead.

The Warriors held the same 15-point lead after the third quarter, but did lose Ratzlaff to an ankle injury during the period. Though he didn’t return, Powell said he didn’t believe the injury was severe and hoped the senior would be back in action Friday.

In the fourth quarter, the Warriors got hoops from Stevens, Whitehead, Ralph and Zack Irvin as they cruised to the victory.

Shane Stevens led the Lawrence attack with 17 points while Chase Stevens added 12 points. Ralph and Ratzlaff contributed six each while Whitehead had four and Irvin two. Nick Morris had one point. TCCS was led by Davenport with 14 points.

Lawrence improved to 8-6 overall and 1-1 in Tarheel Independent Conference play. They will travel to Hobgood Academy Friday for another league contest.